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Council to hold hearing on new city hall at City Center

45,000-square foot building financed by Sunset Development

Plans for San Ramon's City Center project are taking shape as officials prepare to build a new city hall on the project site. On Oct. 8, City Council will consider an agreement to build a new facility and hold a public hearing.

The Council will consider a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the terms and conditions under which Sunset Development Company, which owns Bishop Ranch, will design and construct a 45,000 square foot City Hall building. The agreement will also allow for renovation of the San Ramon library located at 100 Montgomery Street.

The new, two-story facility will be on the vacant lot at the corner of Camino Ramon and Bollinger Canyon Road. The building will be nearly triple the size of the current City Hall and include a larger council chambers, public meeting rooms and a large lobby, City Manager Greg Rogers said.

"This is great news for the city of San Ramon.  We have an opportunity to see a first phase start to the City Center project that results in the construction of a new city hall which we can afford and does not require any debt financing," said Mayor Bill Clarkson.

City Center will be financed using $14.8 million owed by Sunset, Rogers said. The development company purchased an 11-acre lot adjacent to Central Park for $7.3 million and several years ago purchased a parcel across the street for $7.5 million, on which the city was collecting interest.

"Were not going to have to borrow any money to do this. One of the ground rules that this Council has is to use proceeds that come from this transaction to pay for the City Center and library," Clarkson said.

A new city hall was originally planned for a different portion of the site, Rogers added, but the $40 million, 110,000 square foot building plus parking garage was deemed too expensive.

The MOU outlines a six-month design period followed by construction of city hall specifically. The rest of the City Center project -- approximately 2 million square feet of hotel, retail and office space -- is set to break ground next year.

Rogers said the city will likely sell the old city hall upon completion of the new building.

At its Oct. 8 meeting, Council will be provided with an update from Sunset General Manager Alex Mehran Jr. about the timing of subsequent phases of the City Center project. Interim Parks and Community Services Director Karen McNamara will discuss plans to renovate the library.

The City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Council Chambers (2226 Camino Ramon).


Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 1, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Interesting that the proposed city hall depicted in the second illustration is where the basketball courts and parking lot are currently located at Central Park.

Posted by Ms. Bunny, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 2, 2013 at 7:28 am

Delighted the streamlined plan is going forward...Couldn't be happier and more pleased...A great add and renovation of Library to San Ramon (the real San Ramon) here west of Alcosta...

Posted by Harry Sachs, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I want to extend my appreciation and support for the work that our city staff, City Council and Sunset Development has undertaken to finalize the details of this very important project. As a planning commissioner I supported the concept of a downtown development that would be built with private sector funding and no public tax monies being used.

The building of City Center, our downtown, will stop sales tax revenue from leaving San Ramon which will aid in funding more police and park services as well as contribute to Iron Horse Trail upgrades.

This is a great day for San Ramon residents who constantly ask "when is it going to get built?" Well we are on our way!

Posted by Bob P, a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

This is great news! Longtime Resident, I don't believe anything at central park will be removed for this project, so I don't know why that illustration shows that.

I live in Mill Creek, WA. We have a vibrant and successful Town Center that is within walking distance of me. I will definitely come back to San Ramon to participate in the grand opening of the new City Hall!

Posted by Isabel Lau, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Personally, while I am pleased that this project if FINALLY moving forward...I'm disappointed.

As a 25-year resident of San Ramon, someone who attended the opening of the current library 24 years ago, a member of the San Ramon Library Foundation, and someone who sat through NUMEROUS planning sessions for a NEW library in the proposed City Center - I am dismayed to learn that the City is abandoning plans to build one.

I will attend the meeting, and encourage you all to do the same. I believe our city needs a new library. Our population has doubled in size, and the function and design of libraries have changed in the last two decades.

Per the press release, the Council will entertain a conceptual proposal and planning process to renovate and expand the existing library.

Posted by Isabel Lau, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Bob P - one would think that the City wouldn't give up so much for a City Hall but it has indeed...the basketball courts are gone under this plan.
Web Link

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 3, 2013 at 7:45 am

I believe Isabel, you need to sit back on this one and watch what CAN BE DONE with a worthy renovation...

I spent my working life in architecture and construction, mainly on the renovation of older buildings...The answer is not always to teardown and redo. I have a feeling? You will be most pleasantly surprised...

Posted by Isabel Lau, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

Ms. bunny, you are right about one thing...I was surprised...but it was pleasant.

Posted by Think big, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Why only 45,000 square feet for our city hall. Isn't Dublin's bigger? What is going on here?

Posted by Resident, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 4, 2013 at 6:19 am

Where would the money come from for your vision of a new library? This plan includes an expansion and renovation of the current library AND a new city hall at no cost to the city. This sounds good to me.

Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

Exactly, where does the money come from for a grand library? And why does it need to be larger than Dublin's? We have two, Dublin has one. Isn't that enough?

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer
on Oct 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Exactly Long Time Resident,

San Ramon has two libraries and the one in Dougherty Valley is fairly new. The original library building on Marketplace is a very interesting design with a lot of unused space. The upstairs is only used for occasional meetings.

That building could be enlarged with more space devoted to library uses and save a considerable amount of money for the city while keeping an architecturally innovative building for public use (sounds a bit like what should be done with Mudds).


PS There's a lot of open space on the other side of Central Park where the basketball courts could be moved.

Posted by SFMetalhead, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

Looks like the City Center development will occur on the vacant lot on the northside of Bollinger but the Central Park basketball courts will be gone

Per the City's website:
"will design and construct a 45,000 square foot City Hall building on the far southwest corner of City owned land at Central Park adjacent to the City Center project."

Posted by Bob P, a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2013 at 9:49 am

Originally all of the City Center was going to be contained in the now vacant lot at the corner of Bollinger Canyon and Camino Ramon. Then the Sunset Plan had the civic component across the street. Now the revised plan has the city hall portion moving over to an already used area in Central Park. True, the only loss would be the basketball courts and restroom building, but in my opinion, the civic component has been basically 'shuffled off to Buffalo' in this project.

As for a new library, I didn't feel the city needed a new one, just a renovation of the existing library, and I still feel that way.

Posted by SR Resident, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2013 at 10:59 am

When they gut the old library and add some new space upstairs, it is pretty much the same as getting a new library in the old location. The outside won't change but the inside will be very different at a fraction of the cost of a new library.

Remember that the city worked with the school district to build the Performing Arts Center and the Pool in Dougherty Valley for a fraction of the cost of new stand-alone facilities for city use only.

The new City Hall will be ours with no new debt. The cost if fully covered with the proceeds from the land swap with Sunset.

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